[AN: I'm gonna keep posting this stuff here. It's not like it gets in the way or anything.]

Ping was walking down the street in the direction of Megagamers, humming slightly. Suddenly, her audio sensors picked up a barely-audible noise that set off her medical subroutines: short, raspy breathing, punctuated by small coughs.

She stopped and scanned her surroundings. There was a narrow alley branching off from the street just behind her. Taking two steps back, she took a look around the corner and immediately saw the person in trouble: A young man, sitting on an overturned crate next to a dumpster, hunched over so his face wasn't immediately visible.

But his blonde hair and manner of dress were quite familiar, and after a moment's confusion, it triggered her Main User Protection protocol.

"Piro-onisaan?", Ping cried, rushing to his side and taking him by the shoulders. The young man coughed again, then in a weak, barely recogniseable voice, asked: "ping chan?"

"Onisaan", the robor girl pleaded, "What's wrong?"

"ping chan... help me."

"Of course. I'll do anything for you, Piro-onisaan", Ping assured him, as she frantically searched her memory trying to find anything that could be useful in this situation. "What can I do to help you?"

"ping chan... please... Remember."

"Huh?" Ping froze for a second, trying to process this unusual request, but then a small object in the man's hand shone a bright light into her eyes and all else was swept away...

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A small window popped up on C-kun's screen, framed in red. He frowned at first, taking it for a program error, but then his eyes went wide as he realised its true significance.

"Gotcha", he muttered as his hands flew over the phantom keyboard, instructing the computer to pin down the precise point of the occurence and plot the quickest course to it through the city's various data nets.

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The light died down and the man in the blonde wig was left holding a sphere of white light in one hand and a deactivated robot girl in the other.

"A-HA!"

Surprised at the sudden outburst, he almost dropped both the things he was holding. After a few seconds of fumbling, he managed to regain his grip on the sphere, letting Ping drop to the ground with a loud metallic ring.

In the silence that followed, Meagen glared at the fake Piro, who was clutching the orb of white light with both hands. "All right then", she said. "You're going to tell me why you people keep attacking Main Characters like that, and you're gonna start righ-HEY COME BACK HERE!!"

She sighed a bit, muttered "That was just rude", and ran after the escaping attacker.

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Almost as soon as she was out of sight, a young couple passed by the alley. The girl's cell phone rang, and she giggled slightly as she mock-pushed her boyfriend away before answering it. "Moshi moshi?"

The phone's screen flashed and suddenly, a gaijin in a lab coat was standing between the two of them. He adjusted his glasses, bowed to her politely while muttering a quick apology, and turned away, vanishing down the alley.

The girl stood gaping for a few seconds before her boyfriend got her attention with a small peck on the cheek. After that they both lost interest in the occurence and walked away, soon vanishing entirely from this story.

--------------------------------------

Iain sighed in frustration, seeing the deactivated Ping and no sign of the attacker. He called up his computer and began running a few scans when he noticed a small metallic object next to Ping. At first he took it for a part of her earblade, as it was laying near her head, but he quickly noticed that it was something else.

Something that was giving away a distinct technomagical aura.

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